LOMAH - Land of Milk and Honey

Just living life here in the Promised Land, Southern Alberta. Where the Mountains meet the prairie in a stunning sunset, surrounded in fields of gold

Kayking - S Bend

An old picture, surfing the S Bend on the Red Deer River with Denali keeping a watchful eye. It was a perfect day, surrounded by perfect friends.

Family in Waterton

A summer hike with the family and Grandparents. It was a typical Waterton day with some wind and sun. Logan hiked the whole way in to Bertha Falls

Loves of my Life

The first two loves of my life together in one picture. I remember when they came into my life, making me whole.

Me in the Broken Group

I think this is my favourite picture from last year. We did a sea kayaking trip to the Broken Group and had 4 glorious days of sun. It was a capped off with the company of great friends.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blogging on Trail

Well we're off for the day in Waterton and I thought I would try posting from my phone. Since becoming a Crackberry user, I've enjoyed the extra features the phone provides.. I started this posting in the parking lot and took a picture on trail. I think I'll finish at supper.

So... Funny story. Right after I finished typing we encountered a deer. One of those deers that hate dogs. It stalked us. Charged us. Got smoked by a stick. Well maybe grazed is a better choice of words. Regardless, talk to you all later, signing off from Waterton on the Blackberry!
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Man Strikes Again...

4 days and 2 days of paddling!  What are the odds?  Day 2 was perfect considering how long the days are.  We hit the water around 7pm, back at the truck by 10pm with light to spare.  The water had dropped to 300cms in 3 days, but the flows were perfect to a surf wave.  Clay and I had a good time surfing it.  You can see it below.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To thy own self be true...

Many of you know how adept Marko is at technologies of various kinds. He is a geek - and I say that with much love and admiration. No matter the problem, he'll find a way to fix, manipulate, improve it. Especially if it is remotely related to a computer.
I on the other hand still embrace the pencil as a wonderful example of technology. One that is often used and then tossed aside without a thought. It still works, and usually all you need to fix one is a pencil sharpener, knife or some tape. I can deal with those kinds of fixes. A lot of the time I crave simplicity and no cables.

BUT I must confess, I have a new toy. It is simply remarkable. It has made running enjoyable again and brought back my motivation. It was getting too easy to coast at the end of a run, especially a long one. "You just finished 10.5 k, you should take it easy for the last little bit. Two boys to chase around tomorrow..." Blah, blah, blah. 500 m of slacking turned into more. But now, I have a Garmin Forerunner 110. Yes it has a name AND model number. Crazy. What's more, I am able (yes, I AM ABLE) to plug it into my computer and access the data from the run I just completed and compare it to previous run times. I can see a break down of pace/kilometer, elevation gain and lost, distance, stop times, it is awesome! This thing is like having a trainer on my wrist. It's pretty big and bulky, but not so bad. I'm used to it now after two runs. I love that I can glance down and see how far I've come and how fast I'm running. Keeps me honest. I've been trying to keep my pace at around 6min/k for the long runs and faster for the short ones. It's challenging!! But gives me something to work towards again. Nice.

So thanks Marko, for being on my wrist as I run, coaxing me to go faster. Go Team I. We need teamshirts...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Old Man in a Boat

Well after a 2 year hiatus from my boat, I managed to get a day out paddling.  To make things even more interesting, we paddled the Lower St. Marys at 450cms.   It put that in perspective, a good flow on that river is normally around 40cms!  As you might know from my previous posting, water levels are high around LOMAH and I wanted to get out while the flows were good.  Luckily my cousin Clay was brave/stupid/willing to head out with me.  The fact was, both of us hadn't paddled in so long, we were second guessing our skill level.  Not willing to change our minds we headed down to the river and took a stab at it.  How bad could it be?  Fact was the dangers were low, the water was high and the waves were big.  Most of the river features were buried below the water so all that was left were a few surf waves and some big haystacks.  Still enough to trash us a bit, but nothing epic!  Here are some pictures and video from the day out.


From 2009_05 Picnic Day
I'm sure your asking yourself what can be deserving of "ALL CAPS" in a title.  The best fathers day ever of course!  One wouldn't suspect that cleaning stinky neoprene would be involved in such a day, but it did.  The day opened with a relaxing morning, latte and good conversation.  This was followed with some yardwork.  Best Ever?  Confused?  It's coming.
On Saturday I managed to get out kayaking (I'll post that later today) and needed to clean the gear.  There is something therapeutic about cleaning gear for me.  It originated back when I did a lot of climbing and needed to sort/clean gear after the climb.  It was a kind of debriefing that seemed to be the icing on whatever climb I had finished.  Same holds true for kayaking.  I got to save the icing for Fathers day.  The rest of the day was filled with puttering around the garage, laying in a hammock and using my brad nailer.  I think it was the excellent weather and no-stress activities that made it such a wonderful day.... oh that too, my Fathers day present.
Dora is forever complaining about how she never suprizes me or how I'm difficult to shop for.  For this one, all I have to say is "Well played my friend... well played".  I received my gift, light to the touch and began to speculate a gift card... the easy way out.  As I opened the box I saw a shirt... (nice start), socks (red one?  I have some already) and an assortment of papers, one that said Fenway park.   FENWAY PARK!  You may recall from an earlier posting, I went on a rant about life in general, with a short discussion about wanted to someday see a real Major League Baseball game.  Well, this August 25th, I'll be sitting in the stands, staring at the green monster in the outfield with two of my best friends, my two brothers.  Turns out, they got the same Fathers day gift too!

This was the best Fathers Day Ever.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

High Water

As I'm sure many of you might know, the water levels here have been pretty high.  We're lucky to say that no flooding at our house, but for a few friends and family... not so lucky.  Record levels of rain have fallen and some high rivers as well.  The Oldman reached just over 2000cms, less than the 1995 flood, but pretty darn high.  In addition to the rise of the Oldman, signs of the high water were evident throughout Southern Alberta.  I thought I would post a few pics that I took.
From 2010_06 High Water
This is suppose to be a valley, not a lake.
From 2010_06 High Water
The turnoff to Raymond.
From 2010_06 High Water
From 2010_06 High Water
The Oldman in Lethbridge.
From 2010_06 High Water
From 2010_06 High Water
For those that looked closely, you'll notice the new power line towers in the background.  Things are a changin' in LOMAH.

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Best of What's Left

Saturday morning... kids awake, check.  Breakfast, check.  Babysitters, check.  Work gloves, check.  Montana bound, check!
With the in-laws willing to watch the boys we headed South, to the other promised land.  As some of you might be aware, we purchased about 3.5 acres of land in Montana, East Glacier Park to be more precise, just off Heart Butte Cutoff.  We haven't been able to make it back since we purchased it back in early March.  It's been killing me!  With the poor weather and work/family/friend commitments we just couldn't make it down.  At last!  A chance to revisit the property and with no snow either!  The drive was delightful and the company exceptional.  After a quick 2hr drive we were there.  With a bit of road negotiation we were able to get Dora's Honda Fit to the property.  Some take-out from the town and a 6 pack and we were picnic ready.
But wait... what was that noise?  Squirrel?  Nope bigger... huh.  Guess I better go take a look.  Definitely not a squirrel, a dog... and it's owners, bushwhacking towards us.  What are the odds that within 10 minutes of arriving we meet our neighbors.  A couple from Florida, they come to East Glacier to work in the Summer.  Oscar  and Aleshia gave us a quick low-down on the other neighbors and were on their way, leaving us with our own "bushwhacking".  Oh and in relation to the posting title.  They said that for them, this area was the best of what's left of the USA.  I have to agree, we're so luck to be so close to this gem.  The USA get's a bad rap sometimes.  Regardless of the politics, the people, the culture, this small spot on the map does it's best to shine bright.   Our diamond in the rough.
From 2010_06 East Glacier Trip

After a couple of hours cutting back the shrubs on what will be our access road, we had 65ft cleared.  Then the real work began... where next?  Dora had one idea, me another.  After a bit of wandering on the land we decided that Dora had the right idea.  We plan on building about 35ft higher up the slope, to gain access to a better view.  I think is standing where the future living room & deck might be.  
From 2010_06 East Glacier Trip
After our quick trim session and the negotiation of cabin site we headed home.  I think we'll head South for another trimming and to see if we can get someone to do some roadwork.  Maybe by the end of the Fall we'll have something to show off!  Stay tuned.
From 2010_06 East Glacier Trip

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Random Late Night Thoughts

It's June. Early June, but June none the less. As a say these words I'm reminded of Sarah Thomas and her infectious concept of saying "June" when posing for a picture. How this word has come in handy when I smile just wouldn't due. Thanks Sarah.
From 2006_08 Mike & Courtenay's Wedding
I'm tired of this weather. NO REALLY. Can it stop now? Typically I'd be in my glory with all this rain and Kayaking, but the last few years have seen a decline in my paddling expeditions and to be honest I'm worried I'll sink rather than float when I get in my boat next. I've always felt you need to work out those paddlin' skills in moving water and with the flows so high as of late, It's tough to jump in right now. The flows are amazing but like I said... sink not float. I know I say this every year, but next year should be better.

Random thought Baseball. I want to see a Major League game, and not just anywhere, but one of the old stadiums, a classic. Are there any left? Fenway is still around and might be the last. Need to go before it's gone. I'm thinking/planning on heading there next year. Screw it. Has to be done. I figure I'll grab the train in Shelby, MT and catch the slow road to Boston. July/August works for me, any takers? I'm thinking a boys trip and now my West Coast buddies are abundant. Come on guys... one of you has got to be interested!

Life... plugs along doesn't it? I was reading online about Dennis Hopper and thought to myself, gee life seems to get shorter and shorter all the time. 74! Really! I'm like halfway there. Not good. Mind you I'm not the drinker/cocaine user that he was. Regardless, I wonder at times about life and all those philosophical aspects that surround it. Often little comes from it. As of late, with kids I feel a greater sense of accomplishment out of my life. Why is that? My own exploits, work, they really don't hold much to my kids. I guess everyone sees this with crazy helicopter parents and that hockey parent stereotype, but It's that promise of something better, that dream of better, that motivating drive that pushes humanity forward. If we didn't dream through our kids I think we'd still be in that cave wearing animals skins.
One last thought. Friends. We spend so much of our life building them, finding them and doing things with them. I look at my students and see how this portion of their life consumes them. Yet the ability to maintain it impossible, yet it's that part of my life, perhaps most peoples life that I miss and crave. Everyone is so far away... sometimes I feel like I'd do anything to get what I'm missing back. Not likely, but I miss it. I do feel, like most things, it cycles. I remember in my youth eating rice and Kentucky fried chicken gravy as a meal. Not real proud of that, but it worked. No money. Things have changed and I can actually afford to fly out to Victoria to visit friends. Over Easter I had a quick trip West and it was the highlight of my Spring. To visit with the Nishima's, to see Mike become a dad, to have Easter dinner at the Wilsons'. Good times.

Well enough ramblin, and yes I did have something to drink. Apparently not enough or I would have gone straight to bed.